STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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Greenpeace Hangs Banner at Syncrude Toxic Lake

Posted by mhudema on July 25, 2008

July 25, 2008

Greenpeace posts banner at Syncrude tailings pond

By CAROL CHRISTIAN, SUN MEDIA

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FORT McMURRAY — Greenpeace activists were arrested after breaking into Syncrude Canada’s Aurora site yesterday to post banners at the tailings pond where an estimated 500 migratory birds died in April.

The protesters said they tried to block a pipe that flows into the tailings pond, about 75 km north of Fort McMurray or 525 kilometres north of Edmonton, but the attempt was cut short by security.

“We were having a little cat-and-mouse (game) with the security folks after we put up a banner,” said Dave Martin, the climate and energy co-ordinator for Greenpeace Canada. “We were in the process of trying to block a tailings pipe (when) we were discovered and had to discontinue that, but we did put up a pretty amazing banner.”

Martin was one of the 11 detained activists. The group was released from custody at about 3:45 p.m., each with a trespassing charge carrying a $287 fine.

One banner stated “World’s Dirtiest Oil: Stop the Tarsands.” It was hung off the sand banks of the pond. A skull and crossbones banner was unfurled on the end of the tailings pipe.

Syncrude spokesman Mark Kruger confirmed the activists broke into the site.

Fort McMurray RCMP confirmed the arrest of 11 people.

The activists gained access to the property through a “back door,” a gate at the rear of the Aurora site, Martin said.

The action was intended to draw more attention to the fact the “tarsands is an environmental disaster on a scale the world has never seen before,” said Martin.

The province is considering whether to charge Syncrude over the dead ducks under environmental laws.

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